, attached to 2015-08-12

Review by 12ozMouse

12ozMouse Following up the fun from the night before, it was hard to predict what Phish had in store for night two at the Mann. The weather was gorgeous compared to the day before, making for a more relaxed vibe to the pre-show festivities.

What were they going to open the show with. Buried Alive? Fee? How about the tour's first Bag? Trey attacked the opening note from Bag and the show was in party mode right from the get-go. Free continued the trend from this tour of being fairly standard, straightforward and very solid.

Ya Mar followed and was the first real opportunity for Page to stretch out. Sample followed and what we had was a 4-song opener that didn't stray far from the trail but was a rock solid-beginning to the set.

Then we got the tour debut of Cities and were treated to another strong version following the NYE rendition. Trey employed a very raw, crunching tone with his rig during the composed section. Almost as soon as the song proper is finished, the band veers off into jam-space. Fish keeps a high-tempo beat going and everyone else locks in almost immediately. Page gives us a little Wurlitzer action as the jam picks up some steam and heads into some psychedelic space, seemingly stopping just short of a full-on Type II jam before rocking it's way back up to the surface. Definitely check this one out.

Stash follows and gets dark with a nice brooding tension. Between Stash and Cities, this combo gave a glimpse of what this night was all about: a band that was fully in-sync, not stepping on each other's toes in jams and allowing each member to be able to fully let their musical ideas breathe. Time seemed to be an afterthought; there was only patience with every song.

BoaF, to my ears, seems to be a hit or miss song over the past few years. Granted, my first Birds was 6/15/12 so my hopes and expectations will always be unrealistic. Still, this was a short and sweet version with some nice effects by Trey near the back-end. As if Trey hasn't gotten enough praise during this tour, this was yet another jam where his tone was so crisp and clear; a very nice punctuation on a full band effort.

Personally, I am not a fan of The Line, but can appreciate it's placement in this set as a cool-down. Come to think of it, the only other time I liked it's placement was after last year's Philly Pheugo (7/8/14). So, in a vacuum, whatever, it worked. I'll shut up and enjoy the music.

It's Ice follows and gets down with a sick funk breakdown. This reminded me of the 11/2/13 Shaft jam in AC but with a much darker, edgier grit to it. It was like a 70s car-chase-on-a-police-drama theme. Or, something like that. Nevertheless, it was an unexpected oasis of funk during the first set that got everyone dancin' before closing out the set with a rock-star Zero that saw Trey's inner hair-metal rock-god come out in animated fashion, turning around and facing his bandmates in full power stance.

But this show is as much about Set II than it is about Set I, right? As I sit here typing, it surprises me I had so much to say about Set I and here I struggle with Set II. Even the LP SBD doesn't fully do it justice. Classic Gin was Classic to open the set. It was a beautiful jam. No Man's departed from the standard funk and went into a clearer rock-like jam that we haven't really heard yet.

Twist went to places in Type II that experiencing it live seemed like there were 2, 3, maybe 4(?) separate jams. It was a spectacle of sound, an exercise in total band maturity and cohesion. Time seemed to stop on stage and it was nearly impossible to tell that only 20 minutes had elapsed once it was all said and done.

SaSS was great in the #4 spot and even better with the full intro. I don't really know if the vocals have ever been clean with this tune, but there is some inner bliss when I hear "colors in the voiiiiiiiid". Mike and Fish get the jam going and there's a lot of really great music here before they bring it back for a closer.

Has it really been over an hour into Set II already??? Only 4 songs? Hood closed out the set. With the renaissance that Hood has had since the Wood Hood of 14, it really doesn't matter what the band did in this version; you don't even have to listen to know that they nailed it. But you should listen to it.

Cup'd for the encore. Totally fine way to close it out. These words are a poor attempt at trying to do this show justice. As I sit here, I'm not even sure I can fully wrap my head around what happened. This show was one of many pinnacle performances over the years. It is not to be missed. As poetic or fluffing as it may sound, Summer 15 continues to roll along and make history. Surrendering to the flow has never been more appropriate. Throw away any pre-conceived notions you have about this band and just listen to what's going on right now.


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